Not too many people in this world get a chance to go on an epic fishing trip in Alaska for Salmon and Halibut, but I did and with the blessing of my beautiful wife Linna and I took it. My long-time friend John Dorsey asked me to come along on this grand fishing trip with both his sons. His son Michael Dorsey is a professional fishing guide during the summer and hunting guide during the winter at the famous Hatchery Cove Lodge on Evans Island near the tiny village of Chenega, Alaska. Michael is the Captain of Halibut Hooker, a new 43 foot fishing boat equipped with two 310hp Volvo engines owned by Bob Hodsons. Bob is also the owner of Barney’s Sports Chalet barneyssports.com a specialty outdoors shop in Anchorage, Alaska. A special thanks goes out to Bob Hodsons to let me live the dream for a few days!
John and his other son Matthew Dorsey from Fort Collins, Colorado flew into Seattle from Denver where we met up and the three of us took the same Delta flight to Anchorage, Alaska. Delta Airlines is starting to match routes with Alaska Airlines and Delta was offering this killer deal for $180 bucks round-trip from Seattle to Anchorage…oh hell yes.
Michael and his son Hunter were waiting for us in Anchorage, I haven’t seen Michael for a couple of years and I didn’t recognize him at first sporting a thick Jeremiah Johnson reddish beard. We picked up groceries in Anchorage and drove over to Whittier where the Halibut Hooker was mooraged. We quickly loaded up the boat with 5 days of supplies and took off on a three hour tour to the Hatchery Cove also owned by Bob Hodsons.
We fished for 4 days nearly limiting every day on Coho Salmon, Halibut and a bunch of Rock fish. We were allowed 3 Coho (Silvers) Salmon and 2 Halibut each day, but 50 miles to the East in Resurrection Bay near Seward, Alaska you were allowed 6 Coho a day.
When it comes to fishing, the Dorsey clan have so much fishing experience that you will be assured there will be fish on the boat and a lot of it. Even though I held my own, the Dorsey’s out fished me each day; they are also gentlemen when it comes to splitting the vacuum packed fillets at the end of the trip.
Halibut rigs baited up and ready to go
We saw Orca’s all day
I brought both of these Black Rock fish at the same time on my halibut rod
Our third day of fishing, we limited out on Salmon and Halibut
Matthew Dorsey’s first Coho on our first day of fishing
Loading 5 days of supplies on the Halibut Hooker fishing boat
John Dorsey’s first Coho in the boat on our first day
Hunter Dorsey pulled in this jumbo 19lb Silver
Humpback Whale was lurking around us while we were fishing for Halibut…totally awesome
Hatchery Cove Lodge in blue awaits our arrival
The famous Halibut Hooker fishing boat
This was our first day of fishing; John & Michael Dorsey and Rick Freeman
The lodge and our fishing area was near the village of Chenega, Alaska
This was our first day of fishing, we limited out on Coho’s that day
We had a freezer full of Coho, Halibut and Rock fish fillets
John Dorsey, Rick Freeman, Hunter & his father Michael Dorsey
We saw so many whales during this trip you forgot they were around the boat
John Dorsey with his halibut
This was the largest halibut that I brought in for the tirp
Another great day on the water; Michael & John Dorsey and Rick Freeman
Michael, Matthew and John Dorsey showing off their Rock fish
Matthew Dorsey enjoying life in Alaska
A tub of fresh bright red Coho fillets
Hunter Dorsey was the Captain’s First Mate on the Halibut Hooker
John Dorsey enjoying our ride from Whittier to the Hatcher Cove Lodge
John Dorsey, Michael Dorsey and Matthew Dorsey
Captain Michael Dorsey on the famous Halibut Hooker fishing boat
Just leaving Whittier, Alaska; Matthew & John Dorsey
Rick Freeman’s Rock Fish
Our three hour boat route to Chenega, Alaska from Whittier
My co-worker and friend Jim Darmiento was nice enough to invite me and two other co-workers, Jason Hartley and Robert Brocx out for a day of Salmon fishing. We started at the fish hatchery area and then moved on to the Queets river. (more to come).
It has been three years since I have been to Lake Oahe, South Dakota. This is an annual fishing trip that I started going on with a few of my Nebraska buddies; the first year I made the trip to Lake Oahe was in 1995. I went year after year and then took a 3 year break after the 2007 fishing trip. The early years, it was a trio that consisted of John Dorsey, AJ Hudjins and myself. AJ and John live in Cozad, Nebraska (my hometown) and the last few times Scott Diehl has been joining us, he lives in Brady, Nebraska about 30 miles from Cozad. This year, AJ didn’t make the trip due to his moving from Cozad to Hartwell, Georgia to start a new job.
My wife Linna had the pleasure of waking up at 4:30 a.m. to give me a ride to the airport. I flew from Seattle to Minneapolis and then back to Pierre, South Dakota. The flight from Minneapolis to Pierre was on a small turbo-prop plane….which was loud and slow. John and Scott were waiting for me at the Pierre airport with a cold beer. John picked up Scott in Brady about the same time my flight took off from Seattle. John and Scott pretty much just had to drive due North, a 5 hour drive to Pierre. As usual we headed to Dakota Mart to pick-up a few items, a store that carries guns, fishing equipment, liquor, clothing and groceries. We stayed at the West Prairie Resort www.westprairieresort.com, a place we have been doing business with for the last 4 fishing trips. The owners Terry and Tammy Nelson are some of the nicest people you will ever meet; Terry is considered to be the best guide on Lake Oahe by his peers and customers.
Each morning consisted of breakfast at the lodge and out on the lake by 9:00 a.m. We usually had our limit by early afternoon, which was a good time to get off the lake. Fishing in mid-summer on Lake Oahe, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, which must have reached each day for us! When we got back to our air conditioned cabin, it felt like you walked out of an oven into a refrigerator. Seattle hadn’t had a full day over 80 degrees yet and my body was acclimated for the low 70’s. After each day of fishing, Terry would clean, pack and put our fish in our cabin freezer. He treats you like a king on the boat and makes sure you are having a great time. He will even bait your hook and take your fish off….as he did for Scott all three days; of course John and I were making fun of it! This resort goes beyond the usual customer service, since my flight was in the late afternoon and my Nebraska buddies wanted to take off in the morning, Terry gave me a car to drive to the airport. So I stuck around the resort and used the wireless until I needed to catch my flight.